Yesterday, the Bailey dog and I were walking through the neighborhood, stopping every few seconds to sniff and pee. The dog, not me. We have lived in the immediate area for twenty some years but because of the transient Florida phenomenon; most neighbors have come and gone. In fact I think there are only eight original owners.
So I was walking in the cul-de-sac a few houses down and ran into a neighbor who has also been here since the area was developed. She and her husband were older than most of the residents as they had retired to the area. There were balloons tied to the mailbox and she told me she had just celebrated her eightieth birthday.
In front of their yard, under a huge oak tree they had placed a bench so they could sit and watch the neighborhood kids playing. Bailey and I decided we could use a short respite from the walk. It was over ninety in the afternoon sun and the bench in the cool shade where the wind was just tickling the tree branches beckoned us over.
We sat and talked about the changes in the area, about not being able to watch the shuttle take off over the trees anymore, and about time passing.
“I think the thing that makes me saddest,” she said, “Is that everyone wants everything right now. There’s no joy in waiting for something.”
A story, I was interested.
“When I was a girl we would wait each week to listen to our shows on the radio. Then when we got a television, the family would get together weekly and watch our special programs. That was the payoff. Now we dvr, we use on demand. That’s what life is about now, on demand.”
I got what she was saying. My son who works retail said the same thing to me. Parents come in demanding to get an early copy of a video game, why should their kid have to wait. It’s because we are all use to instant gratification. We want it now and most of the time we can get it right now. But when we can’t, we don’t understand.
The apps on the phone give us instant info on the store you need to find, what movie’s playing where and even where you are at all times. (______ just checked in at Yard House). You want that top from Gap? Order it online and have it shipped, don’t want to wait the 3-5 business days? Overnight it!
And wait, you can’t afford it? You can get it instantly, just fill out this credit application and we will approve you in three minutes.
I spent a wonderful half hour talking to this lady. I understood her concerns. I too like the anticipation of waiting for good things to come. But I also enjoy the conveniences modern technology affords. Maybe there should be a happy medium. Soon, technology will be available where you just have to think about something and it will appear. We’ll never have to leave the house.
Thank God for Bailey dog. He makes me stop and appreciate the world one sniff at a time.